Monday, June 1, 2009

Robert Hayden, Poet

This is Number 3 in a series of poems by professional poets listed here as a monthly entry for any and all to enjoy.

by Robert Hayden,
American Poet 1913-1980

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires ablaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house.

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?


  1. One of my favourites, together with his Douglass poem.

  2. Yes, Rethabile, 'Frederick Douglass' is a fine poem. Mr. Douglass tended to banked fires of a different kind, did'nt he?